Darren Rovell Reportedly Deceived By Fake Escort Service

The CNBC Sports reporter took a tip and went with it, only the story was a complete fabrication from a shocking source.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

Deadspin.com is reporting that Darren Rovell, who is a sports business reporter for CNBC, got totally duped with a fake story involving reports that a New York escort service was losing money because of the NBA lockout.

Rovell sent out this tweet in an attempt to find a new angle on the lockout late last year:

Rovell received this reply in his inbox on November 17, 2011:

"I run an escort service in New york, mostly for away teams players after games but I get some knicks and nets players also. They are the high rollers and im not getting the constant business that I need to stay running."

Rovell was totally into it. He not only replied vigilantly, but ended up running the story.

His only problem? Evidently, his source.

Turns out the e-mails were coming from an 18-year-old high school senior named Tim, who fabricated the whole story because he 'got bored one day.'

The kid created a fake e-mail account with the name "Henry James," his e-mail being hankinthebank1@gmail.com.

After receiving "Henry's" e-mail, the thread below allegedly blossomed.

(Rovell) Henry,
I can keep you quiet but can you at least give me financial details — how much do players pay typically? what do they get?


Ya I appreciate you keeping me quiet. Some girls are few hundred dollars an hour, some can be a few thousand dollars per hour, they get anything and everything, especially the younger guys. They mostly have their people contact me to arrange it so I rarely deal directly with players.


what percentage of your business is nba then? and how much money would say you're losing? what cut do you then get?


Well its a high profile operation so I get a lot of athletes depending on the season but between entertainers, athletes and just wealthy people 30 percent roughly is NBA related during NBA season. This far into the season ive probably lost 25,000 dollars maybe more, its hard to tell because were working with lower profile clients in replacement for less money. I take anywhere from 65 to 80 % of the cut depending on how long the woman has been working for me.


this is so fascinating to me. so it's either players or people who come into town to see games that the business is coming from. is there virtually no replacement or you are so tapped into the nba players and their managers that it's harder to get other business because you've done it for so long?

one more thing, typically what is the cheapest woman and what is the most expensive woman? i assume it's by the hour and what is the typical # of hours?


There are replacements but they aren't as consistent and not nearly as high paying. Cheapest girl is around 350 or 400 an hour most expensive is 4,000, anywhere from 2 to 6 hours usually

Are you doing a report on this?

He sure did. The kid's 'prank' made it on Rovell's CNBC.com report just days later, which was followed by Twitter threads and the release of the story on other major online outlets.

A 30 percent decline seems to be the magic number, even for Henry, who runs an escort service in New York that he says charges between $400 and $4,000 an hour, depending on the woman.

Henry says he takes between 65 and 80 percent of the total cut to match the players and other high-profile fans, who are with the client an average of four hours.

"There are replacements but they aren't as consistent and not nearly as high paying," Henry said.


The best part? Well, besides the whole story being manufactured by a teenager, was that Tim made up these prices and numbers out of thin air.

"I came up with that completely off the top of my head," he told Deadspin.com. "I didn't even Google it."

The teen supposedly forgot about the whole ordeal and is just now coming public.

Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.

Just don't send him a fake escort story. Or do. After all, bad press is still good press, right?